X-Men ’92 #1 (Marvel Comics)
The 90’s X-Men cartoon holds a special place in my heart. It was one of my first introductions to the X-Men and their place in the Marvel universe. The Secret Wars miniseries from the summer was a pretty big success, so it’s not surprising that Marvel would expand upon it with a new ongoing series. What is surprising is that I found this starting issue from Chris Sims, Chad Bowers, and Alti Firmansyah to be much more entertaining the opening issue of the previous mini series.
X-Men ‘92 picks up after the events of the Secret Wars tie in, and finds the Xavier School opening up for a brand new semester. With tons of media coverage, the Mutants are definitely gearing up for a much more publicized school year, and that stress is added to by the mutant known as Maverick crashing in during Beast’s opening lecture. After uncovering a secret weapon created in Russia, Maverick’s on the run from the Russian Government, who have sent along their greatest weapons (Omega Red, Vostok, Ursa Major, Darkstar, and Red Guardian) to get him back. The X-Men naturally do battle with them, and learn that the weapon Maverick discovered isn’t on its way to the school; it’s already there.
Like I said before, this new version of X-Men ‘92 is a lot more fun than the previous series. That’s not to say that Bowers and Sims’ script doesn’t have any flaws though. Their writing style for the series is still a little off from what I remember on the cartoon, and the final reveal of the Russian’s secret weapon (named “Alpha Red”) is very reminiscent to that time the X-Men fought vampires a few years ago. But despite all of this, I’m still charmed by this book. Sims and Bowers’ script flows way better here than it did in the miniseries, and they’ve been able to mimic the tone and style of 90’s comics without making the book unreadable.
Like Bowers and Sims, Alti Firmansyah is back for X-Men ‘92, and his style has remained pretty much unchanged from the miniseries. In any other instance this would be a bad thing, but Firmansyah’s work is really great here, and he does a great job of showing off the different X-Men in action. Firmansyah also has a real knack for cool action scenes, a great example being when Rogue throws Ursa Major (aka giant bear member of The People’s Protectorate) at Omega Red.
X-Men ‘92 isn’t the best comic book out there, but it’s certainly got a special kind of charm to it. Just looking at the cover made the classic X-Men theme song play in my head, and it’s hard to read this and not hear the voice actors from the classic cartoon. Sims, Bowers, and Firmansyah are showing a great deal of improvement with X-Men ‘92 #1, and if they keep at it, they could become a very special team.